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Time to Refresh the Winter Survival Kit

Winter Survival KitIf you haven’t assembled a winter survival kit yet, here’s a list of items you may want to consider keeping in your vehicle during the long, cold months. 

If you already have a winter survival kit it’s good to review a few of the contents and make sure they are useful should they be needed.

Winter Survival Items to Check if they Need Replacing

  • Food and/or water- Check expiration dates. If you don’t remove your kit during the hot months, chances are any food items are a bit funky or water got used.
  • Batteries- Batteries in flashlights, battery operated flares, etc 
  • Emergency contact numbers- have any changed?
  • Salt/sand supply- was it depleted last season? Is there enough should you need it?

Besides checking on the condition of the above supplies, make sure your other items haven’t been removed or used for another purpose. It’s important to have a shovel and jumper cables in your trunk, along with very warm blankets and winter gear. To check on conditions of Minnesota roads, you can go to MN 511

Preparing for Winter Roads

It won’t be long and we Minnesotan’s will be preparing for winter driving. Yuck! Whether we like it or not, we have to drive in miserable conditions. Having a winter survival kit in the car is a must, but here’s a few other items I always make sure I have along, so I don’t drive myself nuts with worry.

1. Cell phone and charger. I know it’s not the end all, but it helps put my mind at ease should we have car trouble.

2. Plenty of blankets. Whether we use them in an emergency or not, the kids love having the comfy, cozy blankets in the truck. Some days even the truck’s heater isn’t enough to cut the cold wind that makes its way in. A blanket along side the door can be a really nice buffer.

3. A shovel. If you don’t need it, your fell traveler might. Having a shovel in your vehicle can help in a variety of situations.

4. Jumper cables. You never know when you might need to jump your car or help someone else jump their car. We’re known for Minnesota Nice, for a reason.

5. Ice scraper. Just because you get to park your car in the garage over night, doesn’t mean mother nature can’t dump a load of snow while you’re parked somewhere. You’ll want to be prepared.

6. Warm, practical hats and mittens. The cute ones you like to wear that match your coat are nice, but won’t save your digits in the icy, Minnesota wind. Always keep the thick, ugly, warm versions somewhere in your vehicle. This includes snow boots too.

7. All the rest of the items that are recommended in a winter survival kit.

And of course, always check your windshield wiper fluid, tire air pressure, oil, and gas level before leaving the driveway.

Where do Minnesotan’s find room to fit the kids or groceries? Very carefully. How do we haul food and gifts during the holidays? Plan months in advance, fill in every conceivable space, and always leave room for the critical, life-saving items.

Can you think of anything I’ve missed?

Assemble Your Winter Road Survival Kit

Your Tire Zoo crew works hard everyday to help keep families safe on the road. When you live in Minnesota, or anywhere in the upper Midwest, winter poses some extra road hazards for families, commuters, and transportation drivers. Staying safe and being ready for winter situations means keeping your tires in top notch condition AND assembling a winter survival kit to keep with you through the winter months.

While a winter survival kit in every vehicle is critical, many people opt to update it for the seasons and keep it stored in the trunk all year long.


Winter Survival Kit Ideas:

  • Winter coat, hat, and gloves
  • One or more blankets
  • First-aid kit
  • Non-perishable food such as granola bars, or crackers; even just some hard candy can help (If you have kids and allow eating in the car many of us could live for a couple days with what we find on the floor and between seats, don’t forget to check under the car-seat 🙂
  • “Strike anywhere” matches in a water-tight container
  • Candles and an empty coffee can to melt snow; a cup is a good idea as well
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Small tool kit or at least an all purpose tool
  • Shovel
  • Jumper cables
  • Tow Rope
  • Reflector Triangles
  • List of Helpful Numbers: Insurance Company, AAA, Towing, Tire Zoo